I wonder how they pick the matches for my travel profile

I rarely read the ads in the flight confirmation emails I get. Sure, I check the flight date and time before forwarding it on to TripIt but otherwise I mostly just file the emails and move on. Tonight was different for some reason, however. I actually scrolled through the email I just received and looked at the hotel options offered at the bottom. I think that there is someone out there with a very misguided view of what my tastes are.


These were the options I just received. I don’t think I’ve spent that much on any single hotel night in my life.

Clicking on one of the links it is clear that the booking site is a white-labeled version of Expedia operated by a third party in conjunction with the airline. OK, fine. Do what you want on that front. But I cannot help but wonder how they chose the hotels to offer me. Are they based on some parameters in my profile that I’m unaware of? Are they reading my elite status and assuming that I only stay in high-priced, downtown hotels even though I’m actually flying into Dulles and if I do bother to stay the night it will be on a distressed passenger rate?

Or maybe they get plenty of conversions on those $600 hotel rooms and I’m just a fool for second guessing their algorithms.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I stay In Dupont Circle Hotel. Like it and the neighborhood. Never paid anything close to $500. Perhaps they know you don’t know the Hotel and think they can fleece you,

  2. I would say they built your profile from previous airline and hotel bookings related to your job. A nice perk of working in the travel industry, you get all the best discounts. Haha.

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